Postnatal Contraception

May 13, 2019

It is possible to become pregnant again very soon after giving birth, even if a woman is breastfeeding or has not had their period return. Rapid repeat pregnancies (an interpregnancy interval of less than 12 months) are associated with increases the risk of preterm birth, low birth weight, stillbirth and neonatal death, therefore maternity services should give women opportunities to discuss their fertility intentions and contraception.

There is robust evidence that the provision of immediate long-acting reversible contraception postnatally at the place of delivery is safe and effective in preventing rapid repeat pregnancy. Recent guidance from the Faculty of Sexual & Reproductive Healthcare states that maternity service providers should ensure that all women after pregnancy have access to the full range of effective contraceptive methods and be able to provide these immediately after childbirth, however, this is not yet routine practice in the UK.

Providing women with long-acting reversible contraceptive methods in the immediate postnatal period has advantages in assurance that the women is not pregnant, it masks early bleeding that can be associated with these methods, prior anaesthesia is already provided, there is an immediate access to healthcare professionals, and there is an avoidance of a subsequent procedure.This insertion process is quick, requires less additional equipment relative to community insertion, and may carry a lower perforation risk than at 6weeks postpartum. Studies on women’s views on on immediate postnatal contraception are encouraging, with good and increasing evidence that contraceptive methods provided in this context are highly acceptable to women.

For more information about the different types of contraception available and where to find them:

If you are currently experiencing an unplanned pregnancy and considering abortion you are not alone. Abortion is available for free to those part of the NHS but can also be paid for privately. For more information:


  1. Thwaites A, Tran AB, Mann S. Women’s and healthcare professionals’ views on immediate postnatal contraception provision: a literature review. BMJ Sex Reprod Health 2019;45:88-94.

To find the right clinic for you, near you: